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Facebook promises deeper iOS integration, buys Face.com

Facebook was one of the definite winners in Apple’s recent iOS 6 announcement at WWDC. Now it seems the social network wants to get even deeper into bed with the Cupertino giant.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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In a short, cryptic post (because there’s a real shortage of those at the moment), Facebook said it would be releasing a major update to its SDK for iOS:

We’re very excited about the Facebook integration in iOS 6 that Apple announced last week at WWDC 2012. We’re working on a major update to the Facebook SDK for iOS that will launch in the coming weeks. It includes significant new features and enhancements that make it easier to add Facebook to your iOS apps, along with support for the Facebook integration in iOS 6. Stay tuned!

We can only speculate on what these updates might entail, but given Facebook’s predilection for apps, it might well be a way for iOS developers to more easily integrate your timeline into their products.

It also looks like the social networking giant’s post-IPO spending spree isn’t about to slow down either. Israeli facial recognition startup Face.com confirmed today that it had been bought out by Facebook.

The company reckons that “by working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we’ll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers — that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do”.

Speaking to AllThingsD, a Facebook representative said: “Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in-house.”

The acquisition certainly makes sense, and could have immediate benefits for Facebook. Face.com builds facial recognition software that could help users identify and tag photos of people faster on both desktop and mobile.

In fact Face.com has an existing Facebook app, called Photo Tagger, which lets people scan photos for known faces. Were the acquisition to go through, Facebook could simply absorb the software into its own photos section.

It would also further strengthen Facebook’s bid for dominance in the photos space, following its acquisition of Instagram and the launch of its own Camera app for iOS.

The deal has been circulating along the rumour mill for some time now, although both parties had been cagey until now.

Face.com said it would continue to support its developer community. Neither company gave any hint as to how much the deal might be worth.